Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to make Chinese Rice Dumpling

Tomorrow is the fifth day, of the fifth month according to the Chinese calendar. It is during this time, all Chinese around the world eat zhang, or better known as rice dumpling.

Like many other Chinese food, the dumpling too has many versions. The one i'm about to write is the Nyonya dumpling. Again, there's many version of it, so don't leave me a comment and say this is not the authentic Nyonya dumpling. :)

The two main leaves that are use are the bamboo leaves and pandan leaves (of the bigger version, not the one you cook your desert with). Pandan leave gives a nice fragrant to the dumpling but because it is thicker, it is harder to wrap with it.

To tie the dumpling, hemp string is used. It's harder to tie with the hemp string tho' so you can use nylon string.

Glutinous rice plays an important role. It must be of a good quality and perfectly flavoured. The glutinous rice is soaked for about an hour, drenched and then fry it on the wok on a low heat. After that, slowly mix in the garlic oil.

For the filling, you'll need chestnuts, chinese shitake mushrooms and pork. The pork musn't be too lean otherwise the filling tends to be too dry once the dumpling is put to cook. Chestnuts are boiled with sugar beforehand and mushrooms are cut into cubes.

Then fry the pork, mushrooms and chestnuts.

When it's about to cook add in the seasonings. Other than the obligatory coriander, add in soy sauce, salt, pepper, and mono sodium glutamate to taste.

It should look more or less like this. Maybe of different colour since some people would be more health concious and would skim on the soy sauce.

I like my dumplings with yam. Because the meat tend to be strongly flavoured and slightly greasy, yam is good to neutralize the taste. The yam is steamed and then mashed. After that, it is fry on the wok. While in the process, add the sugar.

It is actually quite easy to wrap a dumpling. Just start by folding the leaves like the picture below, and you'll know where to continue. Prepare a huge knot of the hemp string beforehand because you're suppose to tie from the knot after you have done wrapping the dumpling.

Then, put to cook in the boiling water. It takes quite a long time to cook - about two hours for 20 dumplings. But if you're not that patient, use the pressure cooker. It'll take about 20 minutes to cook for the same amount of dumpling. Of course, you'll have to substitute the time with the taste - it might not taste as good. ;p

The first picture is wrapped with bamboo leaves while the one below it, pandan leaves is used.

This is the one wrapped with bamboo leaves, without yam.

This is wrapped with pandan leaves, with yam.

I've eaten so much dumpling for the past few days and I doubt i'll eat any of it on the day itself. Hehe. One tips though. Because dumpling is quite a heavy food, greasy and all, do drink chinese tea after eating them. It makes you feel a lot better.

Happy Dragon Boat Festival everyone! :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pancake with caramelized banana, chocolate and maple syrup

To prepare the caramelized banana, you'll need bananas, sugar and butter.

It's really easy. Just cook the three ingredients in a small pot at a slow heat. Sugar burnt really quickly so be careful of the heat.

Cook for about 5 minutes or so and you should get something like this. It looks really yellow because i'm using fine sugar but if you want the nice caramel brown color, use brown sugar.

For the pancake, I used Green's pancake pre-mix which is an Australian brand. It is in a bottle, so basically, just add in water and shake it. Betty Crocker used to be my favourite but i found out Green's tasted better but texture wise, Betty Crocker is better.

Slightly grease the pancake pan with butter. If you don't have a pancake pan, you can use the normal non-stick frying pan.

When the surface of the pancake is bubbled like this, it means the pancake is ready to be turn.

A perfect pancake should have this golden brown surface.

Served the pancake with maple syrup and the caramelized banana you prepare earlier.

Or, if you love chocolate, you can also prepare chocolate ganache and sandwiched it. Then serve it in a pool of maple syrup.

A cup of good and thick chocolate malt drink to go with your pancakes.

Great stuff to start your day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Big Apple Donuts Voucher

Unlike other vouchers, this are pretty good deal. There are six pieces in each piece.


Free 3 Donuts with purchase of 6 Donuts
Free 6 Donuts with purchase of 12 Donuts
Free 12 Donuts with purchase of RM 100
Get 3 Donuts for RM 5
Get 2 Americano for RM 9
Get an Iced Cappucino with purchase of 12 Donuts.

Valid till 31 st May

Do the maths of how much you can save!

I've got 3 vouchers for sale.

I will be selling it for RM 10 per piece, which includes the postage by poslaju. If you're interested in buying all 3, email me at and I'll give you a good price.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Glazed BBQ Chicken Wing and Lamb Chorizo Sausage Salad

First, of course you need chicken wings. Remember to clean them before you start marinating.

I had intended to make the Asian version so to marinate, I use hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, a dash of black pepper and white pepper, sugar, salt and a pinch of mono sodium glutamate. Sugar is used to give the glazy effect and not for the sweetness so, don't put too much of it.

Marinate at the duration of your choice. Naturally, the longer you marinate, the better it taste.

If you had leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge, take out an hour beforehand and leave it at room temperature. Reason being is that , you don't want your chicken to turn too brown before it is cook thoroughly.

Put dollops of butter (for taste and texture) on the chicken wings before you put them in the oven.

In the mean time , prepare your salad.

You can either pan fried the chorizo sausage or cook them in the oven. I opted for the latter since it's healthier and less oily. Once it's cooked, cut them in thin slices.

The usual cucumber and lettuce are used as the mains for the salad, while home made cruttons are added for garnishing.

The dressing is a combination of squeezed fresh lemon, wasabi and mayonaise.

Serve the salad with the chicken wing. Garnish the platter with chopped parsley. ;p

A better picture of the chicken wing.

Salivating yet? :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Little Oasis, Prangin Mall Penang

I was meaning to have my lunch in front of the restaurant opposite this place but it seems that they are not exactly prepared to serve customers yet. So, me and my friend walked in front of this restaurant where they place a huge menu and have a look. The price seems right, the food looks alluring but what really drew us in the restaurant was the nice waiter - who i believe is the father of the owner.

It didn't take us long to made up our mind since the man has been raving to us about the full course meal. and no, this is not a backdated post. I am a little puzzled why they are still in Chinese New Year mood too. ;p

You can choose between ice lemon tea or green tea for your drinks.

It is a slightly diluted version of the Nestea pack, but still drinkable.

Mushroom soup for the appetizer.

Very campbell's-like, nothing to shout.

There's a wide selection of mains. Chicken are mostly priced below RM 15, while sirloins and lamb chops are a tad more expensive, but still below RM 20. The price are inclusive of the appetizers, deserts and drinks. Very, very cheap for a full course meal.

I was just having lunch so I chose to have chicken since red meat would leave me in post-lunch comma. (
HB's Tm ;p)

Mushroom Chicken Chop

The mushroom gravy was too thick and the chicken was not marinated at all. It was tasteless. Not salty, not sweet, not sour. The side dish was ok. I mean, how could fries and coleslaw go wrong right?

Hawaiian Chicken

I love the presentation. If they had saute the pineapple slice with a bit of caramelized sugar it will be great. But when it comes to tasting the chicken, it was bad, though slightly better than the mushroom chicken. To make matters worse, it was served in a pool of tasteless gravy! The mashed potato tasted weird and the gravy was watery, in fact there was not even a single consistency in it. Sigh!

For desert, it was a scoop of ice cream.

It was served on a chilled cocktail glass and fortunately, it was not tasteless.

They graduated with honours in terms of presentation, but taste wise, they fail miserably. Of course, it's dirt cheap but to be honest, it's very disappointing munching something with nil taste. No second visit!

Oh yeah, since today is Mother's Day, so Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the world that happen to read my blog!

This Mother's Day, I got my mum an air ticket! :) I *cough* love *cough* you, mum. ;p

Friday, May 08, 2009

How to make smoked salmon sandwich

( Do expect more of the How-to-s post since I'm cooking a lot at home. :P )

Spread the bread with butter then toast it in the oven till slightly brown. While waiting for the bread to be done, mash your hard boiled egg then mix it with a knob of mayonaise and a pinch of pepper. By then, your bread should be done. Take it out from the oven and spread the cheese spread on it while it's hot.

I love to have my sandwiches with black olives. It gives it a wild flavor and of course you have the mandatory lettuce.

Spread the mashed egg with mayonaise on the bread, then put the smoked salmon with black pepper slices on one of the bread , and the olives on the other.

Just before you tower the sandwich up, put the lettuce.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich ( Triple S. ;p )

and have some guava juice to go with the sandwich.

Ah, i feel healthy. =D

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Birthday Greetings!

Her name is Jessica Choo.

She turn 22 today. :)